All about Merry . . .
Merry Farmer lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn’t have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always having something to write about. Today she walks along the cutting edge of Indie Publishing, writing Historical Romance and Women’s Sci-Fi. She is also passionate about blogging, knitting, and cricket and is working towards becoming an internationally certified cricket scorer.
1. How did your life as a writer begin?
Really, it began one day in third grade, after wishing and hoping and praying that we would be given a creative writing assignment, when I realized I didn’t have to wait for the teacher to tell me to write, I could just write on my own! I’ve been writing to entertain myself and to escape the world ever since then.
Is it too trite to say that love inspires me to write? I have tried, but everything I write turns into a love story. I have some crazy dreams too that have given rise to stories. But mostly it’s just an overwhelming fascination with people and what makes them fall in love and stay in love.
3. How did you come with the idea for your current story?
I came up with the idea for In Your Arms based off of what I know of the true history of what happened to the Native American tribes of the west after the west was “won”. The Carlisle Indian Industrial School is relatively near to where I live, and I’ve always thought that it had such a bittersweet mission. I wanted to write a heroine, Lily, who was Native American but had had her culture taken away through that system. It was… well, I guess you can’t say “fun” doing the research to write her, but certainly enlightening! I’m part Cherokee myself, so the story of that chapter of our history has always fascinated me.
My latest novella, Seeks For Her, is a continuation of that idea, as it deals with Lily’s brother, Thomas, who went through the same cultural stripping process and is looking for an anchor and a family for his life since his was taken away.
4. Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline, or are you more of a seat of your pants type of a writer?
I used to be a pantser, but I find that the more serious I get about making writing my bread and butter career, the more organized I need to be about my writing process. I still don’t outline everything step-by-step, but I do go into a story with a plan for how it ends and at least three points along the way, and then as I’m writing I stop to outline the next couple of chapters every once in a while. I’m also very disciplined about getting up at 5:30am every weekday morning to write and about 7:00am on the weekends.
5. What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
I think my favorite scene in In Your Arms has to be Lily and Christian’s first kiss scene and the lesson Christian observes Lily teaching that leads up to that point. There’s just so much fire and chemistry, and they skate so close to being busted! Love it!
6. What is the highest goal that you desire to meet as an author?
I want to be able to support myself on my writing alone. I think that’s probably the goal of every writer though. I don’t necessarily need to be a bestseller or a big time prize winner, although I wouldn’t say no to that! But to be able to just write, to not have to commute to a day job I’m not passionate about, to have the freedom to travel, and also to be able to teach writing…ah! Paradise!
7. What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
WRITE! I know, I know, but it’s true. It was the advice that was given to me. Don’t say you want to be a writer someday. If you want to be a writer, call yourself a writer and WRITE. You will write a million really crappy words before you ever write anything good, though, but don’t throw anything away! There’s no shame in writing badly, because it teaches you how to write well. Also, don’t fall into the trap of believing those first million words are awesome, because chances are they won’t be.
8. How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I just recently took a quilting class, and I’m kind of hooked! It’s nice to have a hobby now that my hobby has become my full-time job. My mom was a quilter, so that makes me feel close to her, even though she passed away in 2001. I’m also a knitter, and in the summer I keep score for a local cricket team.
9. Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
One of my very best friends is Indian, from Punjab. She has said that someday we’ll go to India together and I can stay with her family for a couple of months. I plan to do that as soon as I’m making my living off of my writing and don’t have to worry about taking time off from a day job. And INDIA!!! For two months! Living with a family and not as a tourist!
10. What do you have in store next for your readers?
My next full-length novel, Somebody to Love, coming out at the end of April, is the last in the Montana Romance series. It’s an m/m romance in which my beloved character, Phineas Bell, Cold Springs, Montana’s banker, who has been a major presence in all of the Montana books so far, finally finds love himself! After that, I’ll be switching genres a little this summer and writing what I like to call “Sci-Fi for Women”. The first and second book of that series, Saving Grace and Fallen From Grace, follow the perils of the people on a trio of escape pods that crash land on a habitable moon in the middle of nowhere with no chance of rescue as they try to build a new civilization while catching the criminals who caused the crashes. I plan to release both of those books at the same time in July, since the first one has a SERIOUS cliffhanger ending. They are technically sci-fi, true, but they also have a very historical feel to them and, of course, a tangled romance.
Lily Singer has never belonged. Taken from her tribe as a child and raised in a white man’s school, she no longer has a place in either world. Teaching has become her life. When that life is threatened by rumors and prejudice after a string of robberies, she must turn for help to the one man who spells disaster for her carefully ordered existence. Will he save her or steal her heart?
Christian Avery, Justice of the Peace, is used to having things his way. Cold Springs is his responsibility, and when its citizens blame the local Indian population for the mysterious robberies, it’s up to him to restore order and maintain calm. The one person who refuses to follow his lead is the beautiful, native-born Lily. Her defiance turns his life upside down.
But when town gossip shifts from robberies to romance after a foolish indiscretion, Lily’s job and reputation are on the line. She must choose between the only life she has ever known and the only place she has ever felt at home, in Christian’s arms.
In Your Arms is the third full-length novel in Merry Farmer’s sweeping, engaging, and extremely historically accurate Montana Romance series. Never one to shy away from difficult or controversial topics while still imbuing her tales with more than a dash of romance and steam, Merry depicts a tale of love, trust, and stubbornness against the backdrop of the turn-of-the-century American frontier.
“[In Your Arms is] a book that intelligently tackles racial tensions of post-Civil War era…a highly engaging romance between two fiery-spirited individuals…I highly recommend this book to all fans of historical romance.” –Mary Chen, Amazon reviewer